BASSETERRE: Premier Vance Amory has filed a lawsuit against the state-owned ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), claiming that he was “falsely and maliciously” accused of using his office to enrich himself and his family.
Amory claimed in court documents that the allegations were made in a news item broadcast on June 23.
His attorney, Ted Hobson, said his client is seeking compensation.
“We are also calling for an injunction to stop them from repeating the allegations that they made on that broadcast,” he said.
Hobson said prior to filing the suit, attempts were made to have ZBC broadcast a denial letter and apologize for the offensive comments.
“My letter asked for…$200,000 (one EC dollar =US$0.37 cents). We thought that it was a reasonable amount bearing in mind the hurt and injury to Mr. Amory and the callousness in which it was done, and of course I made reference to the fact that it is extraordinary that a public corporation owned by the people of this country, could embark on such an attack on the Premier of Nevis, without giving him an opportunity to respond to this allegation before they put it on the air,” said Hobson.
The attorney said when he did not receive a response from the ZBC he wrote again, but the corporation denied that the news report was slanderous and said it stood by the comments made as being “fair comments on a matter of public interest”.
The lawsuit does not call for an apology, and Hobson said that he believes the news item and the corporation’s response was politically influenced.
Amory has denied allegations of impropriety over a controversial land sale negotiation with an Iraqi national, calling the allegations outrageous.